A Luxury Lean-To
A challenging site and complex design give way to easy outdoor living.
What started as an opportunistic idea—build a simple screened-in lean-to in a clearing created when the wind blew down a stand of pine trees—took on a life of its own when the owners shared their vision with Boston Architect David Flaschenriem. Dave’s sophisticated design, which is all about the view, and the owners’ wish to disturb the site as little as possible resulted in a complex project for Vermont builder Smith & McClain. Check out the slideshow below and read the full article by Rob Wotzak here. And prepare to be inspired.
Photos by Susan Teare.
The architect wasn’t just having fun with angles. He intentionally turned the cabin’s south- and east-facing walls for better views. Though the roof and deck are congruent, the soffit boards and decking are aligned with the angled wall. Apparently, he was having some fun.
This view explains it all. Approaching the front of the cabin along a gravel path, it is clear that the design is all about the view. A ramp allows the homeowners to navigate the changes in elevation from the ground to the deck with their hands full of everything they need for a weekend retreat.
The interior is one room with a lot of views provided by as much floor-to-ceiling glass as possible. Though the cabin is decidedly modern in style, the interior is in keeping with traditional Vermont cabins—lots of wood, sourced locally and reclaimed when possible.
Affectionately known as “La Poopière,” the outhouse is a short walk from the cabin. The structure is offset from the cabin with an opposing shed roof and a west-facing wall turned the opposite angle of its mating wall on the cabin.
The cabin has a rainwater catchment system but no indoor plumbing. The composting toilet is a compromise that keeps the utilities simple, but offers some comfort for multiday stays.
A firewood shed is hung from the side of the cabin, which has only a woodstove for heat. But because it is well-insulated and weatherized, that’s all it takes to make this simple structure a year-round getaway for the homeowners.